The noise was almost deafening as hundreds of green lorikeets came screeching in to roost in the tall pine trees in the Caravan Park. We were enjoying a tranquil happy hour on dusk in the Horseshoe Bay Holiday Park at South West Rocks on the mid north coast of New South Wales when we are joined by this raucous party arriving. As much as we were enjoying the spectacle at this time of day, it did give just a touch of concern for what this would mean when the birds were ready to leave the next morning.
We didn’t have to wait much past 5.30am for that inevitable wake up call as the birds took flight for the day. Looking on the bright side though, with the day starting thatso at least it was a good wake up call to watch the sun rise from the ocean before starting a day of touring.
This peaceful little bay is located just over 100 kilometres south of Coffs Harbour and around 80kms north of Port Macquarie. Sitting above the bay, the caravan park has the enviable view of both the ocean and Back Creek at the mouth of the McLeay River. For fishermen that gives you pretty much the best of both worlds with catches of tailor, whiting and bream off the rocks and nearby beaches or possible blackfish and jewfish amongst other varieties in the river. A tip we got from the locals was to try fishing off the rocks by the boat ramp. If the fish aren’t biting though there are plenty of other ways to fill your day.
A good place to start is by walking around the town of South West Rocks and the parks surrounding the caravan park. From Horseshoe Bay you can walk along the boardwalk curving around Point Briner headland with its flagstaff and historic signal station. The boardwalk winds its way towards Back Creek and overlooks Back Creek Beach which is also a good spot to watch the sun set.
Bordering the caravan park is the war memorial cenotaph and across the road the historic boatman’s cottages that house the police station, tourist information centre and maritime museum filled with memorabilia and photographs of Horseshoe Bay and the surrounding areas maritime history.